SAGA OF DARKNESS VISION OF LIGHT
Chapter Thirteen - The Return of Prometheus
by Dennis R. Cook
I felt a tad rough. We had taken naps upon
returning down the mountain, and my bones told me a
wasn't enough. I told them I didn't care how
felt, I had work to do, and they were going
like it or not. They shut up after that.
Steven and I left Old Blackgoat with the sheep and
stepped our way through the meadow toward hell
central. Two plain clothed officers monitored the
entrance to the crime scene. "Do you think they
wearing those shades and black jump suits all
time," Steven said as we approached.
"Sure," I whispered, tongue n' cheek, "don't you
remember that line from the movies? Chics dig the suit."
our little joke at the expense of the two
officers helped take the edge off. Being at ease
addressing the two made it easier to communicate who
were and why we needed to speak with Ketchum
One officer ducked inside to check for an O.K.,
while the other detained us.
"You'll find Ketchum in the living quarters,"
returning guard said.
Ketchum had a most haggard look about him, no
drained from the all night ordeal. "You all
seat," Ketchum said, shuffling p
lap. "Paperwork," he groaned. "The FBI can't
of this stuff. Everything I have
tape to this point has to be transcribed. Gad,
is a mess," he moaned, looking at the mound of
in his brief case. "Now, what can I do for
"We'd like to have a look at the vortex again if
might," Steven said.
"No can do," Ketchum said. "That hole in
sky flat disappeared about the time you fellas'
this morning. I've been tryin' all day on my
phone to contact a spook expert over in Taos to
she could give us some clue as to what it was.
One darn thing's for sure, ain't no record of any
of vortex apparition in the FBI computer, or the
military's MILNET either for that matter."
"Listen," I said, "could we just take a look
the altar one last time? We have some
questions of our own we need to find some answers
"Suit yourself", Ketchum replied dryly, "just
know if you happen to answer any of those
questions, and don't touch anything, hear?"
A few police science experts worked studiously
the hall dusting for prints as we sauntered
through the double doors and strode toward the altar.
"Listen," Steven said, "that FBI man is going to
discount every theory about Dr. Sheolman's
whereabouts that doesn't add up to an earthly
Querying, I asked, "What are you getting at?"
"Don't you see it, Joseph," Steven said, "you
couldn't possibly have taken an inter-dimensional
journey in your physical body, and yet you believe
did beyond a shadow of a doubt. Isn't that so?"
"Ya'," I said, "but you saw me fly out of that
thing. I still don't understand what you are
getting at, Steven."
"Delusion", Steven said. "Satan is a master
delusion. Scripture says super-powered delusion will
come on our planet in the last day, delusion so
tantalizing even the very elect will have difficulty
discerning its origin.
"Joseph, it isn't possible for us to be deceived
we truly want to be. Don't you see? Dr.
Sheolman caught us off guard! The rotating motion
vortex hypnotized us. You thought you took an
inter-dimensional journey and I thought I saw you flop
it. None of it was real!"
"O.K., Steven," I argued, "if the whole thing was
delusion, then it follows there was no pure
in your boot black can and so on and so on."
"May..be", Steven said, "we've been manipulated into
walking down a blind alley. First, Dr. Sheolman
planted the torn page on Arlena, then saw to it that
neither Arlena nor Torre could observe his escape.
vortex must have been some type of illusionary
manifestation with hypnotic appeal, and he must have
planted the book where we would find it, too."
"You may be right," I finally agreed, "but where
he have gone? He left his car. All the
places have been found. I don't understand.
seemed so real."
"Not at all," Steven said. "The one hitch in
whole plan centered on us ignoring the broken
elevator. The FBI or whoever might dismantle the
framework of this palatial hideaway block by block,
would bet you anything the elevator would be
There are simply too many other interesting
to choose from."
"So what is your conclusion", I asked?
"I believe we'll find tire tracks coming out of the
wash somewhere between our road and the road
leads to the gorge," Steven said.
"Interesting theory," Ketchum said. "I
overheard the whole thing. You may just be right.
going to start beneath the altar, have some
go through the library, check out the fountain
living room, but I hadn't considered foolin'
the chamber leading to the elevator, or the
elevator, since it was busted. I'll get a couple
it right away. Meantime, let's take a walk
the mountain and look for those car tracks."
It was still a stretch for me to accept
Sheolman's presumed disappearance as nothing more
an elaborate hoax. If I had been hypnotized,
had been put way, way under, and had been darn
to come out of it at all. Had my will been
weaker, it would seem that I might have remained
Dr. Sheolman's spell for months, even years.
scared the heck out of me to think about it.Steven
just about had me convinced by the time we
reached the exit ramp. But I wasn't certain some
wouldn't linger in my mind even if proof could
found to back up Steven's theory.
Walking down the gully wash which separated the
mountain from the highway wasn't easy. Brush
trees, broken beer bottles, slippery, moss-
covered rocks and the like, made the way treacherous.
Patches of plain dirt that would reveal tire tracks
few and far between. I was afraid
were wasting our time. If Dr. Sheolman had left a
it wouldn't be easy to find. We had to cross
fingers his presumed departure had been through a
clearing, otherwise, we would have to wait until
Ketchum's men uncovered something back by the
Thank God that wasn't to be the case. Not three
hundred yards down the gully everything gave the
appearance of falling into place. Ketchum
recognized the wide track tread marks etched in the
bank as those of a late model king cab pickup, a
"Someone's Navajo Cadillac sure rolled outta' here
hurry," Ketchum said. "Looks like whoever
headed west. Could be to California by now.
can do is alert the highway patrol from here
coast to be on the lookout for a six wheeler
New Mexico plates. I'll have them check the MVR
to see if Sheolman had a second vehicle
registered in his name. May come up dry on both
counts....This guy ain't exactly predictable."
"Maybe we can help," Steven said. "We don't
you to arrest us for withholding evidence, but
might know where Dr. Sheolman headed. We've been
tailing him for several weeks now. His secretary,
Begay, told our friend Old Blackgoat about Dr.
Sheolman's periodic trips to the west coast that just
happened to coincide with various Satanic meeting
"Easter was coming up," I interrupted, "and we
to follow Dr. Sheolman and see if he would
us to some bigger fish."
"You see," I said, "we had good reason to
believe Dr. Sheolman was responsible for the rash of
thefts on the reservation, including some
belonging to our friend Old Blackgoat."
"How so?" Ketchum asked, showing interest?
"Old Blackgoat and I decided we had better keep
on his sheep before they began disappearing,
Steven resumed. "Late one night two mysterious
figures appeared out of nowhere and carried a few of
Blackgoat's sheep to the valley of the mountain
standing on right now."
"How'd you know they'd come here?" Ketchum
"You clairvoyant or something?"
"Simple," Steven said, Old Blackgoat had a
this was their hiding place, so we drove up
to see. You know, even police have that kind
Ketchum frowned. "I guess Old
Blackgoat's hunch was correct."
"Yes," Steven said, "it was."
"Then why in heaven's name didn't you inform the
authorities right then and there," Ketchum
demanded testily. "You might have spared that young
the indignity, pain and shame they endured
Sheolman up here last night. What's a matter
you people, anyway!"
"You're jumpin' the gun," Steven shot back,
bristling with his Peterian fire. "Even though we
glimpse of Dr. Sheolman that night, all we had
figure, no more. And that view came in a
vision. Even Old Blackgoat wasn't willing to be
convinced at that time that Dr. Sheolman was the
culprit. Even after we followed him to Los
Angeles, definitive proof, proof that would compel or justify
contacting you, didn't present itself until last
"Alright," Ketchum conceded with a
conciliatory gesture of his right arm, "I thought you
said something about knowing where in the Sam--
Sheolman might be headed. Before
sendin' any of my men on some Gol-dang wild goose
I have to have some facts. Now which one of
two visionaries is gonna' fill me in on how you
where this Dr.Sheolman headed."
"Listen," I said, "we're all exhausted,
the proof of that is the testiness we're
beginning to exhibit. There's no sense coming to
blows. What say we get together tomorrow morning
ten. A good night's sleep will make what we
to say about Dr. Sheolman's whereabouts much
on all of us. If Sheolman is going where
think he is, he will still be there in the morning,
not, what we have to tell you is irrelevant. And,
knows, you all may have him in custody by then
"Suits me just fine," Ketchum said. "And
speaking of getting' that guy into custody, I've
get an all points bulletin goin' on that Navajo
anyway. Besides, I get the feelin' I might have
trouble swallowing what you fellas think you know.
O.K., see you at the parkin' garage around ten in
mornin'....and no hard feelin's, just doin' my
Steven and I arrived back at the sheepfold
time for dinner. As if by woman's intuition,
had anticipated our hunger, and surprised us
coming to camp and preparing some chili.
"What smells so good," Steven said, lifting a
lid to get a better whiff of Sarah's cooking.
"Navajo surprise," Sarah answered propitiously,
sporting a Cheshire catlike grin that made me a tad
suspicious. "Go ahead and try some," Sarah
"What is it, really?" I asked Steven, not quite
what to expect after seeing her grin.
"You'll just have to take pot luck," Steven said,
filling himself a bowl full.
Soon Old Blackgoat, Steven, Sarah, and I were
digging into a hearty bowl of good old Texas Chili.
bite tasted like manna from heaven. Enchanting
perfume and enviable camp-site chili. I just had
know Sarah better. Maybe she wasn't all that
and distant after all.
After dinner Old Blackgoat surprised us by
pulling a guitar from his camper and singing some of
favorite Navajo tunes. The campfire, guitar, and
moon made for a perfect evening under the stars.
bad Sarah couldn't stay longer. Guess our rock
pallets didn't look so appealing, but I knew the
reality was,...she had business, and, it,...was none
I was out like a light when bedtime came.
Bleating sheep and chirping birds blended with
nocturnal sounds to produce an odd mountain
that was remarkably conducive to deep
somnolent sighs. In plain English, that's snoring.
I wouldn't have dreamed anything could have
brought me out of the warm comfort of my sleeping
not even a resounding thunderclap directly above
head, but Shep's incessant barking around
A.M., had me on the verge.
Old Blackgoat finally had to climb out of his
sleeping bag and bring the dog to his bedside in
to calm her down. She settled down after that.
couldn't help noticing, however, that although Shep
quiet, she continued to pant heavily. Saliva
dripping from her tongue by the cupful indicatedshe
was still nervous about something.
I sat up in my sleeping bag and gazed wearily
into the moonlit darkness. Trees drew a fortress
shadows all around the meadow. They seemed to
of days when a quiver of arrows measured the
stature of an Indian brave against the reflection of
waters, released for an eagle's admiration on
A screech owl arced high over the meadow and
its mate of our campfire below, while a large
replete with multiple point headdress cast his
moon-lit shadow on the field below us, his powerful
glistening in the moonlight for a brief
moment, before the blazing moon slid in behind a lone
feathery cloud wisp effortlessly floating across the
nighttime sky, leaving only a glowing orb to caress
At first light Old Blackgoat was up rummaging
through a rustic looking old tool chest he had stowed
in the back of his camper. A tad curious, I
over. Steven was still snoozing away.
"Didn't anyone ever tell you not to sneak up on
Indian from behind?" Old Blackgoat blurted out
was about ten feet away. "I could have
mistaken you for a bear."
"Sorry," I said, "didn't mean to startle
"You didn't." Blackgoat said. "I heard you
through the fence like a heard of buffalo.
had been Dr. Sheolman, you would have been a
"Did you find whatever it was you were
looking for?" I asked, trying my best to get a look
whatever it was he was holding in his hands.
"Right here," Old Blackgoat said, holding up
sawed off, double barreled shotgun in one hand, and
shells in the other.
"Why the gun?" I asked, taken aback a
"I think my old friend the bear was close by
night," Old Blackgoat sighed. "He knows I will
insulted if he kills any of my sheep, but he will
anyway. I will be ready for him."
"Do you think Shep was barking at the bear last
night?" I asked.
"I am sure of it," the old sage said.
"Can you kill a bear with that thing?" I asked,
pointing at the deadly looking weapon.
"No, no, no, of course not," Old Blackgoat
shaking his head. "The bear is my friend. If
superstitious like my ancestors, I would say
presence on this mountain would bring us good
I'm only going to salt his backside a little
remind him this is my mountain, then maybe he'll
to Colorado where he belongs."
"But won't that only make the bear angry?" I
"No, I don't believe so," Old Blackgoat
"I talked with myself long about this very
last night, and I decided if I was trespassing
someone's mountain, and they shot me in the butt
rock salt, I would be smart enough not to
return. I believe the bear is at least as smart as
that is why he will attack my sheep today, he
me to test his resolve. I will not
"Here," Old Blackgoat said, "you take the
and stand watch while I make breakfast."
Steven was still sawing logs, but the sound of
sizzling on the hot griddle, and it's crisp,
tantalizing aroma, soon brought him up.
"Oh, my," Steven said, stretching the kinks out
limbs. "I didn't realize how sore walking up
down this mountainside was going to make my
"You're right, there," I said, "but no pain,
"Are you two going to eat, or complain," Old
Herding the sheep up the mountainside helped us
the kinks out of our muscles. It wasn't nearly
chore I thought it would be. A few hundred yards
slope and my leg muscles felt stronger than
had in some years.
Shep was as feisty as usual. One minute she was
of the sheep slowing their pace and the next
was behind nipping at the heels of the
stragglers. She was a marvel to watch, never
concentration for a moment. That's why I was
off guard, when, within yards of the spring,
left the sheep, and made a beeline through the
Her fierce barking told the tale.
"Bear!" Old Blackgoat said.
Steven took charge. "Blackgoat," Steven said,
between Joseph and me. Joseph, you take the right
I'll take the left. We'll surround the bear.
won't know which of us to charge. Wave your arms
yell. The bear should become confused and run
Moments later when we broke through the tree-line
full view of the spring, the bear was in the
process of chasing down Shep. Both were headed
straight for Old Blackgoat. Old Blackgoat didn't
hesitate, forcing a round of rock salt smack dab in
middle of the beast's right shoulder. That
stopped him. Bellowing and bawling, the bear
sped off a few feet, but didn't keep going.Seeing
Steven flailing his arms brought the bear up
dead in its tracks. With all ferocity, the
raised itself to its full 8-foot height, and
making its way toward Steven, bellowing and
growling like the behemoth it was.
Old Blackgoat took aim a second time, but there
only the click of the hammer against a dead
round. Shep charged the beast and began tearing at
fiend's ankles. Steven was frozen in his tracks.
One swipe of the bear's mighty piston like arm
Shep sprawling into the icy spring water. Then
too late. The bear was down on Steven. Only
microseconds separated Steven's crumpled body from the
sharp talons and fangs...but it wasn't to be.
Two titan arms formed around the bear's neck and
momentarily restraining the beast from it's
A head appeared, and then the trunk of a
creature. Prometheus had returned!
The titan rained a crunching blow down upon the
primeval beast's leathered skull, buckling the knees
predator,.. ending the challenge. Within
moments the misplaced grizzly vanished into the
Prometheus extended his arm to Steven to help him
"Praise God!" Steven said, brushing needles
dust from his duds.
"Are you alright?" Old Blackgoat and I
rushing to Steven's side.
"Don't know," Steven said, still trying to
his breath. "Man, I thought I had bought the
Thank God for you, Prometheus," he said,
grabbing hold of the titan to initiate a bear hug of
"It's all my fault," Old Blackgoat moaned,
interrupting the celebration.
"What do you mean, all your fault?" Steven
turning to comfort Old Blackgoat. "No
can take the blame when a bear goes mad and tries
maim everyone with whom it comes in contact."
"Maybe so," Old Blackgoat said humbly, "but
should have checked those salt rounds to make sure
were good. I've had them in my tool chest for
"Forget it," Steven said. "Everything turned
fine. We're all fine. The bear is gone.
Prometheus is back."
"Maybe not all fine," I said. "Where's
"Right here," Old Blackgoat said, stepping
to reveal a very wet and panting pup at his
"You brave dog, you," I said, kneeling down
thank the canine with a good head rubbing and
scratching. Of course I was thanked for my
with a healthy shaking of Shep's body,
spraying water droplets all over me.
"Except for a few bruised ribs," I think she'll
fine, Old Blackgoat said.
"Well," Steven sighed, "let's round up those sheep.
time we locate them all, it will be time to
with Ketchum again."
There was not an iota of doubt in my mind that
timing of Prometheus' arrival would eventually be
infinitely greater value to us than the morning
reveal. Gathering the sheep, however, didn't
us any time to powwow. I couldn't imagine
whether Prometheus would be willing to disclose his
identity by revealing himself to Ketchum. If
would, however, I thought we had an excellent shot
convincing Ketchum to concentrate his search for
Sheolman in southern California. After all,
Prometheus lived what Steven and I saw in the Spirit.
On the other hand, if Prometheus kept his
identity secret, any attempt to convince Ketchum
were feeding him any more than pie-in-the-sky
fantasy would be a waste of time.... I couldn't
Ketchum as the type who placed any great stock in
truth of spiritual realities such as dreams,
visions, and apparitions.
Steven had said it all the day before. If we
to be realistic we had to assume the FBI would
concentrate their investigation on evidence that was
visible and tangible. I didn't think Ketchum could
away and hide from Prometheus. Prometheus was the
I was in the process of closing the gate as
chased the last wayward sheep into the corral,
out of the corner of my eye, I happened to catch
Prometheus looking my way.
"What's on your mind?" I yelled at Prometheus,
finished lifting the makeshift wire latch over
binding post of the sheep pen gate.
"Hey, man, I understand you and Steven need my help
convincing that Ketchum man you call FBI, that the
of the Spirit are real," Prometheus yelled back.
"That's right. But how did you know?" I trailed
off. "You've been reading my mind again, haven't you?" I
asked, smiling. "Yes, we need your help. Will you
"Of course, dude," Prometheus said. "I want to see
FBI unbeliever looks after I make a believer out
"Hey, what's going on?" Steven asked, tossing a
aside he had been using to rid the arena of
piles. "Is it time to head down the hill?"
"It's cool, dude," Prometheus called to Steven, "I'm
Steven appeared stunned.
"Let's go and see that G-man dude," Prometheus said,
smiling like a cat with it's head in a fish bowl.
"O.K., O.K., just give me a second," Steven said.
Ketchum had softened somewhat from our encounter
him the previous day. He gave us a toothy grin
approached him, then turned to rummage through
trunk of his government vehicle. He had managed
lift a camcorder from its foam ringed case by the
we reached him.
"Who's the big fella'?" Ketchum asked,
utilizing his powerful, persuasive voice to seize
command of the moment.
"I am Prometheus!" thundered the titan, in his
magnificent, (out of this world), baritone voice,
greeting Ketchum with his hand extended.
"Well," Ketchum said, raising eyebrows with
as the powerful being gripped his hand,
very glad to make your acquaintance."
Ketchum shook the hand of Prometheus, but
withdrew it quickly when he realized the vice like
of the titan was going to be a bit much for his
"Whoo-wee, big fella'," Ketchum said,
"that's some grip you got there. What are
anyway, a wrestler?"
"That is not correct, dude," Prometheus said
matter-of-factly. "I am an angel of the most high
who has earned the right to my salvation like a
"Is zat, so?" Ketchum said, taking a step
in order to size Prometheus up with the kind of
curious glare only a true Texan could muster.
how do you expect me to believe that? You might
bit oversized for a man, but I done seen men like
totin' hay bales around Texas farms when I wuz a kid
growin' up way down yonder.
"Very well, then, dude," Prometheus said, "I will
you I do not lie."
With that, Prometheus turned and took great
strides toward the highway, disappearing from our
"Now what do you suppose your friend is up to?"
Ketchum asked, giving us all a puzzled look
mimicked our own curiosity.
Moments later we had our answer. Prometheus
shocked us all. He was carrying Old
friend, the bear,.... on his shoulders!
Steven and I retreated to the front of Ketchum's
for cover when we saw the look on the bear's face
compared it to Ketchum's. They were both so
wide-eyed we thought the laughter we were holding in
make us burst.
But Prometheus wasn't finished with his little
demonstration. When he came within a few feet of
Ketchum he vanished right before his eyes, leaving
bear suspended in mid-air, some ten feet above the
"Alright!" Ketchum said. "Uncle! I'm
convinced! I'll believe anything you say from now on,
get that Gol-danged bear outta' here. The thing
me the willies."
With that, Prometheus reappeared and put the
down. We all watched it scurry down the gravel
and out of sight.
Ketchum eyed us keenly. "What's the big
fella's part in all this?"
"Let's go inside," I said. "You might want
down while we clue you in on some facts of
case. The rest of the story will make
you've heard and seen so far seem mundane."
"Somehow," Ketchum said, wide eyed with
wonder, "I don't doubt it one bit. Let's go back
inside. I need to be a sittin' down for the rest
this boogeyman tale.